NOAA's Climate Center Predicts This Season's Hurricane Activity

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center announced that projected climate conditions point to a near normal or above normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year. The prediction was issued at a news conference called to urge residents in vulnerable areas to be fully prepared for the onset of hurricane season, which begins June 1, 2008.

"Living in a coastal state means having a plan for each and every hurricane season. Review or complete emergency plans now - before a storm threatens," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "Planning and preparation is the key to storm survival and recovery."

The Climate Prediction Center outlook calls for considerable activity with a 65% probability of an above normal season and a 25% probability of a near normal season. This means there is a 90% chance of a near or above normal season.

The climate patterns expected during this year's hurricane season have in past seasons produced a wide range of activity and have been associated with both near-normal and above-normal seasons. For 2008, the outlook indicates a 60 to 70% chance of 12 to 16 named storms, including 6 to 9 hurricanes and 2 to 5 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale).

An average season has 11 named storms, including six hurricanes for which two reach major status.

The science behind the outlook is rooted in the analysis and prediction of current and future global climate patterns as compared to previous seasons with similar conditions.

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